HEALTH

Poll gauges women’s brand loyalty

BY Michael Johnsen

YONKERS, N.Y. According to a new poll released Monday that will be featured in the November 2008 issue of ShopSmart, a publication of Consumer Reports, women are willing to switch brands of over-the-counter medications (68 percent), milk (67 percent) and eggs (67 percent) to save money, but only 29 percent say they would change their brand of pet food.

Now, more than last year, 29 percent of respondents say that they’re buying more generic or store brands; in households with kids the number is 37 percent.

Women are also reluctant to switch cosmetics (30 percent), personal-care items (48 percent) and toilet paper (49 percent).

The poll also found that when it comes to shopping for new appliances, 27 percent of women say that reliability is the most important consideration while the brand falls well behind the other factors in determining which appliance to purchase at 4 percent. However, women are not willing to sacrifice brand name to save money on appliances as only 38 percent of women said they would purchase a lesser known brand to save money.

“We were surprised to find that women are so readily willing to switch medications,” stated Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “However, I am happy to see that women value reliability over brand when it comes to large purchases such as appliances.”

Conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, the brand loyalty poll is part of ShopSmart’s feature on the best and worst brands, which includes a guide to which types of products are most likely to need repairs, information about whether an appliance is worth repair or should be replaced instead and tips to maintain appliances to avoid costly repairs.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. As many as 1,006 interviews were completed among women over the age of 18. Interviewing took place between June 26 and June 29.

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Perrigo gets exclusive U.S. rights for generic Xyzal

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo last week acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to sell and distribute levocetirizine tablets, the generic version of UCB’s Xyzal tablets, from Synthon Pharmaceuticals.

“This is a prime example of Perrigo’s strategic focus on introducing new products which will make quality healthcare more affordable to American consumers,” stated Perrigo chairman and chief executive officer Joe Papa. “Given Perrigo’s unique model of leadership in both over-the-counter and generic prescription businesses, we can leverage this first to file opportunity whether the brand product stays behind the pharmacy counter or if it switches to an over-the-counter status, a likely scenario.”

Xycal is a prescription-only remedy for the treatment of indoor and outdoor allergies, with annualized sales of $200 million on growth of 15 percent per year, Perrigo stated, citing figures from Wolters, Kluwer.

Synthon and UCB are currently engaged in litigation over Synthon’s abbreviated-new-drug-application filing of levocetirizine, Perrigo noted in its press release.

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Walgreens to carry Neptune’s omega-3-heavy Schiff MegaRed

BY Michael Johnsen

LAVAL, Quebec Neptune Technologies & Bioressources on Monday reported that its distributor Schiff Nutrition has launched Schiff MegaRed containing Neptune Krill Oil in Walgreens.

“We continue to execute on our expansion strategy to seek strong penetration in mass retail channels, and now with distribution in Costco and Walgreens, the consumer mass market represents a fast growing sales segment for Neptune driven by brand recognition and consumer acceptance,” stated Thierry Houillon, Neptune’s vice president of nutraceuticals. “Premium products within the worldwide marine omega-3 market such as Neptune Krill Oil are gaining major market share driven by consumer demand for natural health and wellness products with proven therapeutic benefits,” he said, noting that the high-end omega-3 market is growing at an annual rate of between 20 and 30 percent.

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